On 9th December the National Housing Federation (NHF) held their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Housing event, bringing together leaders from across the social housing sector to have honest and courageous conversations about diversity and inclusion. Positive About Inclusion was delighted to be invited to support this event by holding a workshop for delegates entitled ‘Kick Starting Your Culture Change Journey’.
The focus of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Housing event was to reveal the results of the analysis the NHF have been completing on the diversity of the housing association workforce in England. To better understand this diversity the NHF created an EDI data tool earlier in the year and asked members to submit their workforce data, 174 organisations submitted, representing 71% of housing association stock in England.
As Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, explained:
“Social housing is rooted in addressing inequalities, and as a sector we provide millions of homes for people across the country. We are a sector that serves so many diverse communities, including LGBTQ+ people, people of all ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, people of all genders and all ages. But it’s clear the housing association workforce, especially at the leadership level, does not represent wider society or the communities we serve.
Our ambition is to inspire diverse talent, driving progress towards a more equal and diverse cohort of leaders and a culture of inclusivity. This will build trust within our communities and workforces, attract new talent to our sector, allow better business decisions and ensure our people flourish.”
Whilst perhaps not a huge surprise, the results show there is much more to do across the sector both in terms of data collection and representation. Some of the headlines are:
- There are significant gaps in the data being collected and/or disclosed at a senior leadership level.
- There are some high levels of ‘prefer not to say’ results in relation to sexual orientation and religion or belief
- There is significant underrepresentation (or declaration perhaps) in relation to workforce disability
- There is overrepresentation of male executives compared to the general population
- There is a general lack of diversity at a senior leadership level.
At Positive About Inclusion we have significant experience and actionable insight that we can share in relation to data collection and inclusive recruitment within the housing sector. To find out more just contact us!